Meet the People Who Call Home...Home

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#101 Edited by Afroman269 (7387 posts) -

I don't want to meet the people that call Home...home.

#102 Posted by jellysnake (48 posts) -

I remember reading the NeoGAF thread when Home was originally unveiled.  People were losing their shit declaring "SONY IS BACK" "SONY HAS WON THIS GENERATION".  It's very amusing to go back and read now if you can find it.  (GDC 2008 I think it was). 
 
That said, I do find it fascinating that it has attracted a dedicated hardcore following and is making money.  I'm not tempted to try it though as it's not really my cup of tea even if it were ultra popular.

#103 Edited by dvorak (1497 posts) -

It's just another one of those micro-communities of people out there that feel this is the place, as it were, where they can feel comfortable. We all use video games, books, movies, music or whatever as a form of escapism. Some people just take it in a different direction, and get way more wrapped up in it.

A very similar community popped up in The Sims Online, and whatever strange EA advertisement shill that turned into. Always accessable and persistent imaginary living spaces are the key. That goes without saying Second Life, and all those wild 'virtual' web spaces that popped up in the late 90's. We can't forget There! I'm sure there's plenty that most people have no idea about, and I'm sure the people in their community appreciate that we have no idea they exist.

Right or wrong, this was happening before the rise of internet ecosystems in BBSs, MUDs, role-play chat rooms, or MMOs. A good early example would be Dungeons and Dragons. It was for so many lonely nerds, a way to discover that they were truly not alone. They had their own license to create not only their own private ecosystem of friends, revolving around the same interests, but share in whatever fantastical situations they could dream up. Little nerd communities had their own private worlds to disappear into for years.

Home is not exceptional. It's just as bewildering and crazy to the outside observer as the rest of the internet's passionate micro-communities.

Speaking from my experience, I used to think that tabletop RPG's and wargames were the most absolutely bullshit thing ever, until I gave them a chance. Comics were the same way really. For me, they're really more of passive experiences, but I do truly appreciate their sub-cultures as being unique, and worth the time to those who enjoy them.

#104 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4745 posts) -
@dvorak: Hey hey hey, slow down there with your fancy words and well written comments.
 
Haha, but seriously. that was very well written and I'm glad someone (among few others of course) felt the need to leave an intelligent comment instead of just hopping on the bandwagon to dismiss Home as this 'place for the crazy people.'
 
But like you said, looking at something like this from an outsider's perspective, it must seem like the craziest thing on earth. I just think it's sort of ironic that people who don't play games look at gamers in the same 'crazy person' light and gamers will defend themselves to the death, but yet turn around and in the same breath judge people who play Home People who are part of the culture they try to defend.. Tis a crazy world we live in.
#105 Posted by Aeterna (1118 posts) -

@qxz86 said:

Why is this article so littered with typos?

Because content quickly.

Haven't you noticed the same thing on many newssites? It's a cryin' shame but it happens all over the place.

#106 Posted by Stackboy (510 posts) -

Home really isn't relevant to someone like me, but its still interesting to know about those that do get some use out of it and how this environment is tackled.

#107 Posted by gunslingerNZ (1923 posts) -
a 59-year-old member of Home and founder of the Grey Gamers, a group catering to Home's oldest crowd

I'm all for people gaming into later life but this + Home = creepy...

#108 Posted by whatisdelicious (1265 posts) -

I need a video tour of Home from Patrick and Jeff and Vinny. That seems like the right cast for this.

#109 Posted by DG991 (1344 posts) -

They need to make Home like the internet in futurama.

Shut up and take my money.

#110 Posted by SexyRandal (11 posts) -

@whatisdelicious: A home QuickLook would be pretty amazing actually.

#111 Posted by whitesox (225 posts) -
@Ghost_Cat said:
It's just amazing to think that, if you create a virtual space with some toys, traveling and communication functions, it will blossom with virtual life.  At the same time, it's a little sad to think how so many people rely software like Home because they cannot bring themselves to communicate with others in the real world.
Why is it sad, exactly?  Is it sad because they go about their business differently than you do?  
 
Great article, I love these interesting pieces Patrick has been putting out.
#112 Posted by Lind_L_Taylor (3966 posts) -
@whitesox said:
@Ghost_Cat said:
It's just amazing to think that, if you create a virtual space with some toys, traveling and communication functions, it will blossom with virtual life.  At the same time, it's a little sad to think how so many people rely software like Home because they cannot bring themselves to communicate with others in the real world.
Why is it sad, exactly?  Is it sad because they go about their business differently than you do?    Great article, I love these interesting pieces Patrick has been putting out.
Looks like a Second Life rip-off to me & not really a game.
If you need social interaction, probably it's better to get out
of the house & do it instead of being lazy & being online.
#113 Posted by ColdsnapBryan (213 posts) -

Looking forward to the rest of the articles. As a marketing major Home amazes me.

#114 Edited by vinsanityv22 (1064 posts) -
@SockLobster said:

Second Life for people that hate fun

Exactly what I took away from this article. There's nothing here that these guys are saying that fans of Second Life wouldn't say. It's really weird that there are people using their PS3 primarily for this thing. And it's definitely sad that it hasn't come together in a way that's enticing to building a community of gamers
 
XBL has proven that the anonymity afforded by online-enabled games is a bad thing, especially when you give them a headset and they're beyond intolerant. So HOME was actually sort of a noble idea; to create a community for the gamers on the PSN and remove some of that and make gamers more civil. But it totally hasn't ended up that way. It's just a haven now for the same kinds of people who dug Second Life's aimlessness, might have social problems in the real world, and apparently have no problem with the complete lack of soul or style in HOME's visuals (again, like Second Life). I mean, if you're in this for escapism, what does it say about your lack of creativity that you consider being a virtual hipster "escapism"? Go play World of Warcraft or something. Pretend to be a hero, not a d-bag in a wool cap when it's warm outside.
 
Oh well. It doesn't hurt me in any way that it exists, so if you enjoy it, have at it.
 
Free Realms is a better version of what HOME should've been in my opinion. But it's targeted at kids. Still, I can guarantee that SOE would've come up with a better thing than...whoever was the "developer" of HOME.
#115 Posted by JeffGoldblum (3710 posts) -

@Aeterna said:

@qxz86 said:

Why is this article so littered with typos?

Because content quickly.

Haven't you noticed the same thing on many newssites? It's a cryin' shame but it happens all over the place.

The other whiskey sites are much worse.

#116 Posted by nickystixx (184 posts) -

we need a quick look of Home stat! 


#117 Posted by ant0ni00 (21 posts) -

I actually like Home, even though I'm only a casual user. I hope it becomes more successful. There is potential there. It would be rather cool to see some MMORPG-like quests in the environment. Maybe add an area where people can become warriors, cops, villains, etc. Era-specific stuff, like being transported to the 1800s area to do specific stuff that will net you items from that era to put in your home space as trophy. 
 
There's much that can be done. I just hope it sticks around because its existence can only be beneficial, especially if it causes some other system to do a better job at it.

#118 Posted by whitesox (225 posts) -
@Lind_L_Taylor said:
@whitesox said:
@Ghost_Cat said:
It's just amazing to think that, if you create a virtual space with some toys, traveling and communication functions, it will blossom with virtual life.  At the same time, it's a little sad to think how so many people rely software like Home because they cannot bring themselves to communicate with others in the real world.
Why is it sad, exactly?  Is it sad because they go about their business differently than you do?    Great article, I love these interesting pieces Patrick has been putting out.
Looks like a Second Life rip-off to me & not really a game. If you need social interaction, probably it's better to get out of the house & do it instead of being lazy & being online.
I don't think its sad at all.  If anything, I'm glad the people who play this have found a niche in which they can enjoy themselves.   Who am I to pass judgment upon someone for socializing online?  But to most, if you're doing something that isn't socially acceptable by their standards, it doesn't matter if you're enjoying yourself; you're a loser.
#119 Posted by Nettacki (1319 posts) -
@ant0ni00 said:
I actually like Home, even though I'm only a casual user. I hope it becomes more successful. There is potential there. It would be rather cool to see some MMORPG-like quests in the environment. Maybe add an area where people can become warriors, cops, villains, etc. Era-specific stuff, like being transported to the 1800s area to do specific stuff that will net you items from that era to put in your home space as trophy.  There's much that can be done. I just hope it sticks around because its existence can only be beneficial, especially if it causes some other system to do a better job at it.
Considering how it's been kicking for 2.5 years and counting, I think Home will have no problem sticking around for a long time.
#120 Posted by Gerhabio (1977 posts) -

@qxz86 said:

Why is this article so littered with typos?

Nice first post

#121 Posted by Ragdrazi (2283 posts) -

I liked Home back when it was called The Sierra Network. Back then it had some charm to it.

#122 Posted by Xpgamer7 (2393 posts) -

Home is one of those things that's fun to check out for a few minutes when you're bored, and then realize you can go back to playing your assassin's creed.

#123 Posted by demonknightinuyasha (473 posts) -

For me Home has always been the "check it out for an hour every like 6 months" type of experience. I'm just glad that PixelJunk Shooter had some home items because now I have a survivor helmet and don't have to see my avatars creepy eyeballs ever again =D

Also I got to sit in the Star Wars cantina and listen to Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes, that was definitely a plus XD

Also in an unrelated note, double checking my spelling on Figrin D'an I discovered that he is a "Jizz Musician"...god damn it Lucas >.<

#124 Posted by lockload (80 posts) -

Bizarre never got it always found it boring

#125 Posted by Levio (1785 posts) -

@nickystixx said:

we need a quick look of Home stat!

Did someone say Endurance Run??

#126 Posted by redlitez76 (107 posts) -

home is neat but it isnt for me.

#127 Edited by Gunharp (337 posts) -

@dvorak said:

Well shit Dvorak, you've said pretty much what I thought after reading this piece.

"...Always accessable and persistent imaginary living spaces are the key. That goes without saying Second Life, and all those wild 'virtual' web spaces that popped up in the late 90's..."

Beyond the 90's, plenty of 2000's virtual worlds still exist in pretty much the same capacity. I think another key aspect that keeps the community driving is the "sandbox". Some 3D Social MMO's still exist because of that feature. Outside of Second Life there is (off the top of my head) Planeshift, Saga of Ryzom, A Tale In The Desert and Myst Online: Uru Live. Just wanted to add that to you're two keys.

Home is not exceptional. It's just as bewildering and crazy to the outside observer as the rest of the internet's passionate micro-communities.

I think what makes home a bit unique (yeah not exceptional) is how Home has shaped given the advertising ventures that go on, and that is only on a console. Thats probably what fascinates people to write about it.

Speaking from my experience, I used to think that tabletop RPG's and wargames were the most absolutely bullshit thing ever, until I gave them a chance. Comics were the same way really. For me, they're really more of passive experiences, but I do truly appreciate their sub-cultures as being unique, and worth the time to those who enjoy them.

I was the same way about role playing groups and tabletop stuff like DnD. I got miniatures, and war-games. But could not wrap my head around the roleplaying stuff. Why would people want to play imaginary games? I get it now (don't enjoy it myself) but I don't dismiss them as whacks for playing the games they want.

@patrickklepek said:

@Kesselrun said:

None of the interactions between this "community" are any different (or more significant) from what has been going on in chatrooms and MMOs for years. A guy that writes for a Home magazine and a guy that creates and sells content on the platform have every reason to talk up the platform. Second Life was also idealized for years in the press, presented as something very different from what actually went on in the game. It's good that people can find others to chat up and have fun with, but you can poke around and find equally large and active communities in all sorts of games. I'm not sure why things like Home are viewed as different or more human-centric when they are almost purely about advertising and cash shops.

They're not, it's the perception that Home failed. It didn't. It just didn't become a phenomenon, but there are large groups of people that feel Home is very important to them.

Ok I think I understand way more now, about why you would write about Home. There is actually a big perception around it. The topic gets tossed around and is more relevant than the hundreds of other virtual communities still kicking it on the PC. As a console mmorpg it is probably the most talked about outside of maybe Phantasy Star Online. No one talks about Everquest Online Adventures or Free Realms for damn sure.

All this reflection on online social games makes me remember the mmorpg SEED. Now that was something. It really had the best recipe for what I always imagined a socially driven mmorpg to be. Soon politics will be as normal as the virtual economy and role playing bits in your mmo.

#128 Posted by Eijikun (62 posts) -

Patrick seems to like to be politically correct. But let's face facts: if you're substituting the real world with any virtual world, then you've got real problems from which you're running away. 
 
Also, Patrick said: "Imagine what it's like when your favorite place on the internet disappears...." So what? Move on. Life isn't about entertainment and the internet. And if it is for you, then find a new way for yourself. Is it a full life to just be entertained and then you die?

#129 Posted by dvorak (1497 posts) -

@Christoffer said:

That Thoreau quote proves we should all stop using famous quotes as arguments. It's quite good but doesn't fit at all in this context. Is it any better that we go to our graves having pretended to be who we always wanted to be?

But I don't want to dismiss the whole community. As far as I know, Home is far greater than any game in the social aspect, so the joke's on me I guess.

This article was a great read. I only knew Home as a... home... for idiots and griefers and this humanizes them a whole lot. Maybe you could do something similar about the simulator community (Trainz, Farming Simulator, Ship Simulators Extremes etc.). I need to know what the hell is up with that.

I can understand how people would enjoy Railworks if they are a big fan of trains and railroad ephemera. It’s not like there are a lot of opportunities for a passionate train guy to actually drive a train, much less single-handedly. The thing I can't get though is how someone who wrings so much enjoyment out of Railworks, and can justify purchasing the literally thousands dollars of extra train and railroad DLC that exists on Steam. It's not that I have a problem with people ‘wasting’ their money on stuff like that, because personally speaking I've spent even more money of tons of stuff that would make me look like just as much a total nerd.

There is truly a whole world out there though, related to very specific sim games that very few even know exists. I'd really enjoy understanding what it is that drives the hardcore sim communities. That is, if “communities” even truly exist. They are almost the opposite of social sims like Home. Most of the time spent in these industry simulations are entirely solitary.

Trains and large machines are inherently interesting due to their complicated manufacture and processes. But how large the intersect could possibly be, between the hardcore train enthusiast and hardcore PC gamers?

#130 Posted by Siphillis (1297 posts) -

I've always felt that the money invested in developing Home could have been used to make PSN competitive with Xbox Live.

#131 Posted by fox01313 (5088 posts) -

Great article, though think that I'll never quite fully understand the mentality of PS Home fans or why it's still perpetually in Beta.

#132 Posted by Sekoku (84 posts) -

"The beating heart of Home isn't its gaming experiences--and it never will be.  

And that right there singles out the biggest issue of Home with people that "game." The lack of gaming going on in what you described it aptly: A game consoles virtual chatroom.
 
While, that may be fine for 59-year-old "gamers," that isn't going to draw in Joe CallofDooty. And that's why most people consider Home a "failure."

#133 Posted by myketuna (1738 posts) -

I still remember getting into the beta and finding Jeff within minutes of playing purely by chance. Sadly, I was with one of my friends and I felt like it'd be a huge dick move if I abandoned him for a celebrity only I knew about. "Dude, it's Jeff from Giant Bomb! See ya, man!" "Whoa, wait, what? Who the fuck is Jeff? And what's Giant Bomb?"

#134 Posted by DataLore (6 posts) -

I appreciate more long form articles like this.

#135 Posted by kearakauai (3 posts) -
I saw the two article/interviews by Patrick Klepek re Playstation Home mentioned in the HomeForum and in HomeStation Magazine.  After reading both interviews (Jason Sorensen of HSM on June 29 and Jack Buser June 30), I wrote a lengthy reply which I submitted this afternoon.  Hopefully, GiantBomb will print it.   
 
The bottom line, however, is that you need a lot more than a cursory glance at Central Plaza to get to the root of what keeps so many people in Home.  This is an open invitation:  sign into Home and send me a friend request:  keara22hi    Tell me when you would like a real in-depth tour of the public places, personal spaces, clubs, parties games, people, mini games, and other fun stuff in Home.  I will delighted to show you the real Home experience.    Come as a group or alone.  I'll leave the porch light on for you.
#136 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -

Great story P-dog.

#137 Posted by pmonette94 (2 posts) -

Never been to home, ever. Am i happy? perhaps

#138 Posted by matti00 (674 posts) -

I love these articles, keep it up Patrick, genuinely interesting to learn more about.

#139 Posted by burbie52 (2 posts) -
gunslingerNZ on June 29, 2011
a 59-year-old member of Home and founder of the Grey Gamers, a group catering to Home's oldest crowd

I'm all for people gaming into later life but this + Home = creepy...
 
Well I am the so called "creepy" person you mentioned.  I have a large club in Home with many dedicated gamers over the age of 30. My oldest member is almost 73. I think many of the kids out there tend to forget that video games have been around for a long time now. I have been playing them since they were invented, my first one being "pong". I love video games and though I go into Home a great deal I also play games, I have beaten many and continue to play daily, I am fifth legend in Red Dead Redemption for example.
Home is a wonderful community of people if you take the time to get to know a few. It can be a daunting experience at first, there is a lot to learn about the way it works, communication, and other things, but once you get past that and meet a few good people, it can be a great place to socialize. I have a life outside of Home, a nice one with real friends and family, so the idea that  everyone in Home is a socially inept twerp or something is a misconception. I have met many well educated, professional people in Home and I have friends here from all over the world, something I would never have in real life. That being said, I also have quite a few friends in Home who are ill, either physically, like MS,  or mentally, such as bi-polar, or autistic or agoraphobic. For many of these people Home is a life line. It may be their only way to have a social life. I don't think that anything that provides that type of help on any level to people should be just summarily dismissed as irrelevant The comments I have seen here have run the gauntlet from.positive to negative to indecisive. What I have gathered from it all is Home is not for everyone, that's a given, but there are many people who would disagree with you for many different reasons. So enjoy your gaming or enjoy Home or both as I do, in essence just enjoy life in its many myriad forms, but let others do as they will with no condemnation,  just because you don't agree with something or understand it, doesn't make it wrong or "creepy."

#140 Posted by DigitalCantina (12 posts) -

Great article Klepek, still cant believe that its still in beta. I wish we had something like the Metaverse from Snow Crash  

#141 Posted by Cynthius (3 posts) -

I just could never get into home...  Maybe it's because none of my friends ever use it, I dunno... I just don't see the appeal.  I used to log in once in a while to see what's been updated, but haven't been on for probably a year now.
#142 Posted by ThePantheon (761 posts) -

Great article Patrick.

Thanks for being awesome.

#143 Posted by NorseDudeTR (428 posts) -

I actually like the graphics of Home. The character editor makes it possible to create a frighteningly familiar facsimile of myself (this tends to be the case in a lot of editors, I don't know why), and some stuff, like watching game trailers and stuff with other people seemed like a good idea. On the whole, though, I find it pretty listless, seems strangely empty even with people there. Guess that's why it's no longer taking up space on my 80gb ps3.

#144 Posted by ShinjiEx (625 posts) -

Meh I'd rather play DCUO for "My Home"

#145 Posted by Geo888 (42 posts) -

Excellent story. I completely forgot home even existed.

#146 Posted by insanejedi (654 posts) -

Home isn't a game, Giant Bomb shouldn't be reporting on it any more than they report on stuff like Second Life.

#147 Posted by melton (1 posts) -

Personally i love home. I think there is so much that can be done with it. But when i first joined home, a moderator told me home was a G rated space, even sony employees say the same. what pisses me off is, even though its supposed to be G rated, sony turns right around and makes extremely questionable clothes up for grabs for anyone that has money or a psn card.Wow sony, what happened? Next that really got me, there are hardly any mods on home any more. So trolls and pervs and bashing fams and groups are allowed to go rampid. This is when i stopped buying items on home. yes i love it, but the ones in charge of home need to step in and up their game. Also for the cutters ridge private space, it make no sense to take the games away from it where people have spent their hard earned money on it. Sony has told me before, when you buy something on home, then it is yours forever. If thats the case, either give me back my stuff or give me a refund.

#148 Posted by TheVeteran13 (1218 posts) -

^

Nice first post

I've had a Playstation 3 for 4 years and never once used Home... because it's dumb.

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